The A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) has emerged as a therapeutic target with A3AR agonists to tackle the global challenge of neuropathic pain; investigation into their mode of action is essential for ongoing clinical development. A3ARs on immune cells, and their activation during pathology, modulates cytokine release. Thus, immune cells as a cellular substrate for the pharmacological action of A3AR agonists is enticing but unknown. Studies herein discovered that RagKO mice lacking T- and B-cells are insensitive to the anti-allodynic effects of A3AR agonists versus wild-type (WT) mice. Similar findings were observed in interleukin-10 and interleukin-10 receptor knockout mice. Adoptive transfer of CD4+ T-cells (CD4+-T) from WT mice infiltrated the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and restored A3AR agonist-mediated anti-allodynia in RagKO mice; CD4+-T from Adora3KO or Il10KO mice did not. Transfer of CD4+-T from WT, but not Il10KO, into Il10KO mice fully reinstated anti-allodynic effects of A3AR activation. Transfer of CD4+-T from WT, but not Il10KO, into Adora3KO mice fully reinstated anti-allodynic effects of A3AR activation. Notably, A3AR agonism reduced DRG neuron excitability when co-cultured with CD4+-T in an IL-10-dependent manner. A3AR actions on CD4+-T infiltrate in the DRG decreased phosphorylation of GluN2B-containing N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate receptors at Tyr1472, a modification associated with regulating neuronal hypersensitivity. Our findings establish that activation of A3AR on CD4+-T cells to release of IL-10 is required and sufficient for A3AR agonists as therapeutics.
Mariaconcetta Durante, Silvia Squillace, Filomena Lauro, Luigino Antonio Giancotti, Elisabetta Coppi, Federica Cherchi, Lorenzo Di Cesare Mannelli, Carla Ghelardini, Grant Kolar, Carrie Wahlman, Adeleye Opejin, Cuiying Xiao, Marc L. Reitman, Dilip K. Tosh, Daniel Hawiger, Kenneth A. Jacobson, Daniela Salvemini